Search This Blog


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Tête à Tête #21 with Patricia Schmidt & Cristian Escriba: Love at first sight.

A special interview this month, to celebrate love. Everybody has heard of Cristian Escriba, due to the Escriba pastries and their fabulous wedding cakes among other wonders. Many of you have heard of his wife Patricia Schmidt, the famous pastry chef from Brazil and an expert in sugar crafting. Between them, the traditional catalan and french patisserie has fusioned with  the anglo-saxon touch of Pat.  This fusion has been able to elevate their creations to a world of fantasy. 

Here I am, in their workshop, the 1st pastry workshop in Europe. I had been there before and it's magical. You can read about it here. Among the stealing glances and love you could sense between them, it was a very wonderful experience to be able to admire their work. I saw some of the videos of Singapure Fantasia - an incredible huge 4 days show n workshop they had in Singapure in summer 2014 -, Ferran Adria's wedding cake ( a wonder which is undescriptive) and one of Sr Romero's child's wedding. Sr Romero is one of their regular and most loyal customer. 
BelleBarcelone: What does Valentine's day means for you? 
Cristian Escriba: For me personally Valentine's day is everyday. 
Patricia Schmidt: It's true. You should read some of the messages he sends me everyday. 
BB: Describe your sweetheart in one word. 
P.S: Everything. 
C.E: Fantastic. 
BB: How did you meet?
PS: I was in Lisbon, and they spoke to me about Cristian's work. I was curious to come and know more about it. So here I came and met him at a professional level. I wanted the distribution of the comestible rings for Brasil. 
C.E: I had read her pastry books and was amazed at her work. I had been to Brasil before meeting her: for a conference and worshop at the Cantaloup restaurant  with Carles Abellan. 
C.E: So we met in Barcelona, that same night I invited her for dinner at Dos cielos. The Torres brothers, chefs at Dos Cielos had opened a restaurant in Sao Paulo: Eñe. 
That night, when I went back home I couldn't sleep and knew I wanted to be with her for the rest of my life. It's not been easy at all as I had my life and family, she was in Brazil but here we are together and strong. 
(At that time Pat was quiet and  emotional). 
P.S: It's been tough with the language barrier and a different country...
BB: What does a romantic dinner need to have?
C.E: Her! And of course dim lights, lounge music, slow motion and a discreet service. 
P.S: Complicity...
BB: How do you create a cake for a special occasion?
C.E: I need music. The music depends on the type of event: 18 years Birthday party or a wedding is very different. I close my eyes, and I visualize the full process. Everything is important, the cake, the way to deliver it, the packaging. We create a cake and we deliver emotions. The delivery can be a show on its own. I remember one cake entered a venue in the dark and all you could see were the floating hearts. It was an easy preparation but had an incredible entrée!
P.S: I am more technical, I visualize the ingredients and create the cake. I am learning here about the emotions process and how to create an experience. 
BB: How do you define your pastry?
C.E: It's a traditional pastry in constant evolution in the recipes and in the techniques. For instance the traditional panallets (tradition dry fruits balls eaten during Halloween- La Castanyada) or Turrón have gone to a modern process at Escriba and people are accepting it very well. 
I want to create a new pastry concept;  all the cakes everywhere may taste different but  look the same. Look out for some big changes in a year or so. 
P.S: My pastry is anglo-saxon. I am more of cupcakes, pop cakes... I use a lot of fondant and of course craft sugar flowers. 
BB: What´s your most memorable cake?
C.E: The one we created for Ferran Adria's wedding . It was a queen of heart cake. it had 10000 hearts. To create something for this genius was a difficult task but we managed to surprise him. It was a show. We did everything from the costumes to the show, the concert,... Creating these sorts of experiences is like doing a video clip. We have created also some very technological cakes with mapping for example. 
P.S: I have seen Sr Romero Fabergé eggs cake at one of his son's wedding and for me it's magical. A real fairy tale!
( at that time we saw these videos and it was just incredible)
BB: What's the most famous pastry at Escriba? 
C.E: The Lips.
BB: Any plans of expansion?
C.E: Not really. We have open in Las Rambles and now in L'Illa, which is the best mall in Barcelona. If we get  an offer somewhere to surpass these emblematic places why not?
Out of Spain, no. Our pastry is a creative pastry so it's quite difficult not to be present. We don't mind doing workshops or an exhibition like what we did in Singapure. 
(I had seen the process of some of the figures they had created for the Singapure Fantasia, 2 years back, and that day I saw some parts on video of the exhibition. More than a show it was a living dream, a wonderful presentation in the huge showroom. They are preparing a documentary about it. Hope we all can see it soon.)
BB: Do you follow the fashion in the patisserie? For example now that macarons or éclairs are in, do you need to follow the trend?
C.E: We do a bit as that's what the demand is. But more than that we create tendencies. Our high heel shoe, copied by many, lips or comestible rings have been born here. 
Now in the gastronomy slow food and KM0 products are the big thing; we will try to introduce this method here also. We try to use only local ingredients. We are planning a change where the visual aspect talks to you. Wait for it...
(Here they showed me some of their future creations. I am looking forward to see them in their stores)
BB: What's your favorite restaurant?
P.S: We got married in Tickets. For me Tickets is special. 
C.E: For me it depends on the day and the mood. It depends on what I feel. 
BB: What's your favorite dessert?
C.E: El cardenal (a traditional Vienese cake with meringue, coffee and chocolate)
P.S: Tarte Tatin. Cristian makes one wonderful Tatin tart. I also like mille feuilles & éclairs. 
BB: Your favorite drink?
C.E & P.S: Pisco sour. 
BB: A slogan?
C.E: The slogan of Escriba the pastry store: ¡Sorprender, Emocionar y crear un Momento inolvidable! (Dazzle, excite and create unforgettable moments.) 
P.S: In Brazilian we use a lot of slogans and phrases. I use them all the time. At this precise moment:The real success of a man is the smile of the women beside him
BB: What has participating in Masterchef brought you?
C.E: We were known already, our pastry is more than 100 years old. My father was always at the avant-garde of the pastry world. 
With Masterchef, children have come to know us. They are our biggest fans. Thanks to it, the participants of Masterchef UK came to Barcelona and visited us in our workshop. They also had to cook for us. It was a great experience. 
BB: What makes you happy?
P.S: Confectionary, Family & Friends
C.E: She makes me happy. I only need her and my son. 
The famous Lip Cake: For this Valentine you can have a bigger version for two: Vanilla & White chocolate mousse, with a passion fruit heart and a hazelnut crumble. It's covered in red jelly. 

Wedding cake with craft sugar flowers by Pat.

The art of sugar flower making. 

Brownie cake with walnuts, covered with fondant. Only on order. 

One of the fantasy during the showcase in Singapure. Made in Barcelona. All the items were made here and taken to Singapure. 

Yes it's their work table and it's chocolate!  Thanks Pat & Cristian for the lovely morning. Thanks Xavi. 

Illustration by a Brazilian artist on how she visualizes the couple in their work. 


A day with BelleBarcelone

Blogger Template Created by pipdig